We had some major weather stuff over here on Thursday. Wind was gusting around with the ferocity and force rarely seen here and all hell broke loose. As is the case with any weather conditions, other than "grey and average" most of London, in fact much of the UK, more or less ground to a halt.
God alone knows how we would manage if there was ever a totally freaky weather day of very high temperatures combined with driving rain and fierce strong winds. What with Dubya's selfish and 'tarded attitude to reducing emmissions and global warming we'll probably have a spell of that next week. At least the weekend will be ok.
We had our own bit of localised adventure here at my office. A large sheet of metal got dislodged from somewhere and ended up dangling precariously over the edge of our roof. It got itself tangled in an aerial and was wobbling around profusely looking as if it could fall down at any time, rather like many people have described my dancing, apart from the aerial bit.
My Company Director, Health and safety conscious hat was firmly on my head as I got everyone to move their cars away from this thing and told them to stop looking at it and move out of the way. This was of course after I had already moved my car. Well the garage's car, but you know the gist of that story anyway, it's another courtesy car.
Then someone called our Landlord, there was some talk about whose responsibility these kind of things are and we got nowhere. Here I am, metal sheet is still dangling there, admittedly it doesn't look like it's going anywhere, but I'm not taking any chances. Someone, presumably some suited fellow, will be out to look at it today. He'll probably take one look at it and then agree that it needs to come down. We'll wait several days, maybe weeks, for some other subcontractor to come out and remove it. The vast cost will be added to our service charge in some way or other. It's the way these things work here.
Of course there's another way. My right hand man, Jay, and I have been looking at ways to get this thing down ourselves. You need to know some background about Jay before I give you the specifics; He's worked for me for years, he's a youngish and dedicated family chap, keen as mustard and will do anything I ask. Everyone needs someone like him, in a working capacity at least. If we have an emergency I know I can call him, even if he was on holiday and he'd do all he can to help. I'd trust him with most stuff.
Unless there was thinking involved.
You think I'm being harsh don't you? You probably think I'm just exaggerating for the sake of poetic licence and all that stuff don't you? Well I'll give you some examples of things Jay has done, you may not believe me but I assure you they're all true:
Some years ago I was walking back across our office car park when I heard a metallic thumping noise. I didn't think anything of it, until I walked past one of our vans and heard the noise again, together with a slightly muffled "Help". My investigations led me to the discovery of Jay, locked inside the back of his own van. He had been there for about twenty minutes. Another ten minutes and anything could have happened.
He once crashed his van and did a fairly decent amount of damage to it. He pulled out and didn't see the other vehicle overtaking him, ploughing into the side of the thing. It can happen to anyone I know, and our post accident interview went rather like this:
"Jay, what the fucking fuck were you thinking of, how could you not see it overtaking you?" said I calmly.
"I know Rhythmic, I'm sorry I just didn't see it".
"What? Was it going too fast or was it too small or what?"
"I know, I just didn't see it."
"But Jay, it was a fucking bloody milk float for fuck's sake!"
In reality my language wasn't quite as mild mannered as I've related but the rest is all true.
Then there was the time a couple of years ago when I despatched him to fill my old car up with petrol, a task he always enjoys. This is because he lives locally and can cruise around in a good looking car wearing my sunglasses and hoping to get spotted by one of his mates. He denies all this, but I have strategically placed spies in the locality and I know.
He returned, half an hour later, the car had a nice full tank of petrol. Jay had been kind enough to also do £4000 worth of damage to my car when he had driven into the car in front. He's kind like that.
That's enough about his previous. All else you need to know is that he's still here, I still let him drive my car, but I've banned him from wearing my sunglasses.
Knowing the stuff you now know about Jay is a good thing. This will help you to visualise my laughter, fear and exasperation at what happened on Friday morning. He came into my office with the look on his face, the one that tells me he is excited but I should be scared.
"Errrm Rhythmic, I've been having a look at the roof and I think we could get this thing down, can you come and have a look?"
We trotted off into the kitchen area. Now, if you have a quick glance at the photo you'll see a window below and to the right of the dangly thing. Next to the window is another window, just out of the picture, that's our kitchen window. As I approached this from inside the building, I started to laugh, quite nervously but also with an air of authority. Probably how that bomb disposal chap laughed when his mate burst the paper bag behind his head.
I had already seen enough to decide that Jay's plan wasn't going ahead. There's management training, there's constructive criticism, there's "all ideas are good ideas", there's "mistakes are good as long as you learn from them". Frankly they all fly out of the window when you see what I saw.
The microwave, the kettle and all else had been moved off the shelf by the window, the window was open and there was an office chair leaned up against the openness. On the shelf by the window was the "equipment" he proposed to use; a huge industrial sized ball of string with a heavy roll of shrink wrap (industrial strength cling film) tied to one end of it. It didn't require a fellow with the brain power of Jade Goody to figure out his plan but I let him outline the basic idea. And it was a basic idea.
"If you just hang out the window, don't look down though, I reckon we can throw the string up, if we can make a loop round the end of it. Then the weight of the other end will pull it down."
"NO. Even I don't want you killed doing this, you fucking big idiot" I said.
"Oh ok then".
We're still waiting for the Landlord.
Jay was touched by my thoughtfulness though.
EDIT - This post was written last week. Since the time of writing a fellow in a suit did indeed come out to look at it. Sure enough he was followed by two others who had a tall ladder and working class accents. They removed the thing and all has been declared safe in the vicinity.
Jay left the Company and is now working as a Bollywood stuntman.
The weather's still crap.